Monday 18 November 2019

Podcast: The Whistling Dixit Edition

  There’s an end of days feel to the podcast as we review a week in which schoolchildren took a collective day off to demand urgent action on global warming, just days after MPs agreed to talk about it for a bit longer. We also look at how Geert Wilders became Islam’s number one recruiting sergeant, why a no-deal Brexit could trigger medicine shortages in the Netherlands, a setback for British expats and Dutch shoemakers, and perhaps the most alarming... More >


The main changes on your January pay slip

With the first month of 2019 now over, you will have received your first pay packet of the year. Financial advisor José de Boer knows what you should be looking out for. Dutch pay slips are complicated affairs – a sheet of acronyms and percentages that take a great amount of knowledge and concentration to unravel. Research by payroll processing company Raet has shown that 35% of people think their pay slip is too complicated for them to be able... More >



'There is a non-hierarchic mentality here'

Groningen-based Israeli Guy Weizman (45) moved to the Netherlands with his partner some 20 years ago to work with celebrated choreographer Itzik Galili. Today he is the artistic and general director of theatre company Noord Nederlands Toneel and dance company Club Guy & Roni; parent to a teenage son; and an enthusiast for Dutch art, literature, philosophy and oliebollen. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I was invited to come and work here when I was dancing, myself.... More >


Impotent ministers, MPs and voters

In the Netherlands governments govern as if elections and even new cabinets are just by the by. It’s diversity and sustainability galore and anyone who dares criticise Brussels is a populist. Where can a voter find refuge these days? asks Syp Wynia. Who wouldn’t want to be a minister? A nice, chauffeur-driven car, a ministry at your beck and call and a weekly outing to the Trêveszaal, the most beautiful place for a parliamentary get-together ever. But does a minister... More >



Blogwatching: Amsterdam's unique boutiques

There are dozens of boutique places to shop in Amsterdam and lots of independent stores. Tracy and Marc from blog Amsterdam Wonderland have put together a list of favourites. The city authorities have worked hard to keep international chains out of the centre, strictly limiting the number of fast food joints and coffeeshops (ie: the places that DON’T sell coffee!) within the the historic heart. If it IS a coffee you’re actually after, the chains you’ll find are, in general,... More >


Podcast: The Tweede Kamer Mint Edition

  It’s a high-stakes edition of the podcast as political parties are banned from receiving foreign donations, the government sees an €8 million Rubens painting go west and cyclists face €95 fines for using mobile phones. In sport, physiotherapists’ goldmine Robin van Persie leaves Ajax’s €75 million man chasing shadows in the Klassieker, while FC Utrecht call time on Dick Advocaat’s lucrative career. And we discuss whether the deal to grant amnesty for more child refugees to settle means Mark... More >



How to set up business in the Netherlands

The Netherlands, with its stable business climate, its open economy and its excellent transport infrastructure, is one of the biggest draws in Europe when it comes to setting up in business. For a small country, the Netherlands packs a lot of punch. The country is considered one of the best connected in the world, thanks to its ports and transportation hubs – as well as its high speed internet. The country is currently sixth in the World Economic Forum’s ranking... More >


Twelve great things to do in February

There is plenty of art and culture on offer this February – from the start of the Rembrandt celebrations to the 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon. Hanneke Sanou has some recommendations. Meet Rembrandt the social networker This year the Netherlands is celebrating 350 years of Rembrandt and the Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam, where the artist lived for 20 years, kicks of the festivities with an exhibition about the role of friends, relatives and patrons in his life. Rembrandt... More >



Expat Centre Leiden extends a warm welcome

    Leiden has a thriving international community, and many of the region’s expats have been helped to feel at home by Leiden Expat Centre. So what is the secret of its success? Last year, Expat Centre Leiden registered its 1,000th international worker. It’s a testament to the success of the project, which aims to give a soft landing to people coming to live and work in the region and create a community of internationals. Expat Centre Leiden is a public... More >


Cabinet must do better on climate

Economists Willem Vermeend and Rick van der Ploeg say a carbon tax is inevitable to save a flawed climate agreement. In December 2015 195 countries and the EU signed up to the Paris climate agreement, committing themselves to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century compared to 1990 levels. To achieve this the global net total of emissions of greenhouse gases, and carbon dioxide in particular, would have to be practically zero... More >



Podcast: The Barefoot Refugees Edition

Dirty money and clean air are the hot topics on this week’s podcast as the government is warned it won’t meet the targets for CO2 emissions in the Urgenda ruling, while coming under pressure to tighten its fiscal rules to stop tax money flowing out of the country and organised criminals flowing in. In sport Frenkie de Jong celebrates his big-money transfer to Barcelona by leaking four goals to Heerenveen. And the controversial Oostvaardersplassen cull proves to be a big... More >


The pope, the bishop and sister Urgenda

Climate change in the Netherlands has become a matter of faith, says columnist Syp Wynia. Forum, the magazine of business lobbyists VNO-NCW, published an interview with Alliander energy boss Ingrid Thijssen recently. As Alliander provides a third of the Netherlands with gas and electricity you would be right to expect the interview to focus on this activity but no, its themes were guilt and atonement. Ingrid Thijssen personifies the way the Netherlands looks at gas and electricity: not as energy... More >



'This tiny country has 400 plus museums'

Dual national Abbie Vandivere (Canadian and British) gets to work with some of the Netherlands’ most precious paintings, as a conservator at the Mauritshuis in The Hague. In the Netherlands for 13 years, she would like to have a party at Jan Steen’s family tavern, and invite Hieronymus Bosch and Johannes Vermeer to join in. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I’ve always been fascinated by Dutch Old Master paintings, and I came here in 2005 for an... More >


Find your community at the international Feel at Home Fair

The Feel at Home Fair is the biggest gathering of the international community in the Netherlands. Over 4,000 people, representing more than 100 nationalities, come together in The Hague’s city hall to share their experience of life in Holland. The Feel at Home Fair is known for the special warmth and atmosphere which it brings to The Hague every winter. The fair is a one-stop shop for help with everything from buying a house or choosing a school, to finding... More >



Key facts about Rembrandt, 350 years on

Rembrandt van Rijn died 350 years ago this year and museums all over the land are commemorating the event. Here are some key facts about the Netherlands’ greatest – and most lucrative – old master. His early years Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in the Weddesteeg in Leiden on July 15th 1606. The 17th century building is no more but a plaque marks the approximate spot. Leiden remained his home for the next 25 years and while among his... More >


Podcast: The Blame David Cameron Edition

It may be winter outside, but there’s been plenty to get hot under the collar about on the news front this week. Amsterdam’s most infamous neighbourhood gets a less than clean bill of health, party leaders turn up the heat on the climate change deal and showbiz star Gordon (no relation) sees red over a spicy TV review. We also bring you the results of the Ophef of the Year vote, hot off the press, and discuss the ongoing nuclear... More >



'Corporate lunch stereotypes are true'

Amsterdammer and comedian Greg Shapiro is 50 and has lived in the Netherlands for over half his life. He likes cooking boerenkool stamppot, would like to meet several Dutch kings who share the name Willem, and is surprised by how little Dutch people know about Het Plakkaat van Verlatinghe. How did you end up in the Netherlands? It was the Boom Chicago comedy theatre that hired me to perform in Amsterdam for just one summer…. That was 24 years ago.... More >


Dijkhoff's yellow vest is losing lustre

VVD stalwart Klaas Dijkhoff told the Telegraaf newspaper this weekend that he could not support the cabinet’s climate agreement which was sealed at the end of last year. Despite the apparent split, Columnist Syp Wynia does not believe the coalition is in trouble. Klaas Dijkhoff, who leads the VVD in parliament, opened election year 2019 by launching a broadside on climate change ‘moaners’, including coalition partner D66’s Rob Jetten. Dijkhoff told the Telegraaf he did not feel bound by the... More >